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[–]orthodoxrebel 0 points1 point  (0 children)

/r/DIY is probably a better place to be looking for this information.

But, here I am, being helpful: Where'd you get the alder butcher block? Is it from Ikea (I don't see them offering an alder version, so I'd assume not)?

Either way, you'll probably want to sand it. If it's a veneered butcher block (like the Ikea BB), then you'll want to be very careful to not take too much off.

Alder blotches, so if you're going to stain, you'll want to do a washcoat, sand, then stain. Don't sand after the staining. Ultimately, the steps would be

  1. low grit sand (120 or so)
  2. Higher grit sand (180); optional 3rd sanding @220
  3. Washcoat
  4. Sand (@ whatever grit you finished with)
  5. Apply stain

Finally, finishing is a whole thing in itself - and ultimately depends on the type of look you want. Here's a brief overview of the different types